Sustainable fishing


"If I have a flower, a dog, a volcano or a planet than I am responsible for its welfare. Whether these organisms are algae, whales, humans, mosquitoes, cucumbers or corals is unimportant. What matters is that we all belong to each other."

One of the essential resources for the survival of the planet is being exploited without allowing it time to recover. Removing fish from the sea is not carried out in the same way as harvesting on land. Fishing interferes with the food chain with consequences not always under our control, especially if we consider the overfishing attitude in developed countries.

In the Mediterranean, overfished populations face various problems:


  • Reduced recruits due to insufficient spawning biomass in a catchment
  • Increased likelihood of unsuccessful recruits due to environmental problems and shorter generational cycles
  • Reduced genetic diversity in the species due to undesirable characteristics in the stock (a reduction in the average reproductive size due to systematic fishing for larger individuals)
  • A fall in total abundance and average size of specimens
  • Potentially destructive instability of fish communities and permanent alterations associated with selective removal of predators which can cause ecological instability and adverse changes to the fish community.

If we do not apply appropriate management of resources, the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks is put at risk. Fishing is one of the major gathering activities of a renewable resource in the world. There are thousands of tonnes of shipping used for fishing and thousands of millions of fish caught from the sea every day. If we consider the Mediterranean, there are currently seven EU countries actively fishing in the basin: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia.
In relation to fishing capacity, the tonnage of catch is falling, even taking into account the incredible power of gears and vessels now available. In fact, although vessels have increasingly powered their fishing potential, the target resource is giving signs of exhaustion. Looking forward, global fish demand will increase as population grows. Simply maintaining current per capita consumption requires 1.6 million tonnes more fish every year by 2015, increasing to 4.2 million tonnes by 2030. There is a problem of sustainability and the need to react does not allow further delays.

Possible solutions can help the reduction of fish resources: first, use the power of consumer choice to demand that the fish they eat are caught more sustainably; second, politicians or international bodies has to develop a regulatory instrument to manage fish resources; third, join the campaign for ''vast marine protected areas, where commercial fishing is banned''. Moreover, lobby development agencies to use aid to help secure the productivity of the fish stocks upon which the world's poor depend, and invest in developing sustainable aquaculture solutions.

We aim to spread this philosophy in Italy, a country with one of the largest EU fishing fleet in the Mediterranean, support the development of sustainable fishing and promote high quality seafood products with low environmental impact. 

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